Are you wondering exactly how a postage meter works? If you aren’t sure, read on to learn how postage meters work.
Some small businesses spend a whopping $1,000 a month on postage.
If you own or work in a larger company, the volume is likely significantly higher.
Many small businesses who don’t have a large volume of mail will send someone from the office to send out packages and other items as needed. They can also use online services to print labels for their items.
But businesses with a higher volume of mail often utilize postage meters. This is because that saves them quite a bit of money each month. The meters offer significant discounts to businesses, and even more so if the business uses the meter to pre-sort their mail.
Read on to learn what a postage meter is and if it might be right for your business.
What Exactly is a Postage Meter?
When you go to the post office, you will either give them your package to mail or go to a self-serve kiosk. In both of these scenarios, you’ll have your package weighed.
Then, the package weight and how quickly you want the item to arrive will determine the cost. The post office employee, or the kiosk, will print out the label showing you paid for the postage and send it on its way.
A postage meter works similarly, but it is housed in your office. A postage meter is also designed to handle a large volume of letters or packages at a time.
First, you fill the machine with a set amount of postage it will use. You will then place the letters or parcels in the machine. It then stamps them all with an indicia or frank. This effectively means your company has paid for the item’s shipment.
Postage meters are all digital to increase security. The frank allows you to track the item, see how much postage was put on it, the weight of the item, the item’s destination and the company it was mailed with.
This makes it easy for your company to track lost documents, track who was sent what item and which mail carrier the items were sent through.
How Many Letters Can the Postage Meter Process?
Postage meters can process unlimited amounts of letters. Some models, however, are quicker than others. For example, some postage meters can process 18 letters a minute, while others can process 45 or more per minute.
The speed of the postage meter will depend on the cost. What your company decides will depend on its postage needs. If your company depends on sending out letters and periodicals, you may need a machine that processes things very quickly. If not, the 18 letters per minute postage meter might be the right fit for you.
How Does a Postage Meter Know How Much Postage Costs?
When you rent a postage meter, you use a rate card that will print out the most current postal rates for your items. When the rates increase, the company you rented your meter from will contact you to equip your machine with a new card.
Some postage meter companies also allow you to purchase an extra package that protects you from rising rates for a set amount of time.
Why Should Our Company Have a Postage Meter?
A postage meter is not only convenient, but it is also a cost-effective option. When you have a postage meter, you are entitled to lower rates on some mail classes. When you pre-sort your mail, your rates can get even lower.
On average, a business saves 20% on their mailing costs as opposed to going to the post office with a postage meter.
Depending on the business, 20% savings can be an incredible amount of money. For larger companies, this could mean the difference between being able to hire a few new employees and doing without them.
Do Postal Meters Look More Professional?
Some believe that postage meters look more professional when it comes to mailing out items and letters to clients. This is because it shows they have their own postage and employees to deal with it. A package or letter with a postage meter mark can look sleeker than a letter or package with information from a post office.
How Do I Buy a Postage Meter?
You cannot buy a postage meter. They are treated the same as currency by the United States and therefore, they can only be leased. Currently, there are four major companies in the US that lease postage meters to businesses.
How Much Do Postage Meters Cost?
As postage meters are not for sale, you can lease them on a month-to-month basis. Typically, you will sign a contract to lease the item for a certain period of time.
The cost of the postage meter depends on its function, extras it has attached to it like a tape dispenser and sealer, how fast it can process letters and the volume of mail it will process.
Generally, you should expect to pay more the larger your company is and the more letters and packages it sends per month.
Smaller postage meters can cost as little as $18 a month. The rates increase from there.
Alternatives for Sending a Few Items Per Month
Stamps.com, Endicia.com and Pitney Bowes all offer you the ability to use your laptop or PC as a postage meter. This software is effective for very small business owners who only send out a few items per month.
Which Model Should Our Company Use?
Before committing to a model or company, speak to a service provider about your company’s mail flow. An expert will be able to tell you what postage meter will be best for your budget and number of items you’re mailing each month.
For more information on postage meters, visit our websites blog.